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ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific Leads New Markets Tax Credit Investments in Rural Washington Economic Development; $5 Million Invested in Health Clinic and New Coastal Community.

ILWACO, Wash. -- ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific, a nonprofit community development organization serving rural coastal communities of the Pacific Northwest, today announced two multi-million-dollar investments expected to boost economic and civic health in rural southwest Washington. The investments resulted from the federal New Markets Tax Credit program, and are made possible with capital provided by Wells Fargo Bank, Sterling Savings Bank and Bank of Astoria, a subsidiary of Columbia Bank.

In Tokeland, Wash., home to the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe on the shores of Willapa Bay, ShoreBank Enterprise and its bank partners invested $1.7 million in a $3.5 million comprehensive health clinic. The 13,500-square-foot facility opened in April. It serves both members of the tribe, who have in the past suffered from high miscarriage and infant mortality rates, as well as other Indians and low-income non-Indian residents in this remote area of Pacific County. Aberdeen-based The Bank of Pacific provided additional construction and permanent financing for the project. Additional project funds came from Housing and Urban Development, Indian Health Services, CHOICE Network and a federal grant.

In Grays Harbor County, ShoreBank Enterprise is funding a $3.1 million loan package for Seabrook, a new residential development of 400 homes. The project integrates the principals of New Urbanism and environmentally sensitive development. It is the first of its kind on the Washington coast. Developer Casey Roloff has committed to local hiring, infrastructure development and local economic development initiatives, which are welcomed by local officials in this depressed area of the coast. Vancouver, Wash.-based First Independent Bank provided $7.2 million in additional project financing.

"Both the Seabrook development and the Shoalwater Bay Indian Health Clinic are great examples of what is possible by collaborating with regional and national financial institutions," said John Berdes, president of ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific. "Through our joint efforts and commitment, we're helping these rural areas achieve economic success."

"Our $5 million investment decision was made because of ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific's proven ability to identify and support projects that have a true impact on the health of rural economies," said James Prunty, Wells Fargo's regional president for Washington and the Northwest. "Successful collaborations such as this offer the promise of more investment in the rural communities we all serve."

In May 2004, ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific was one of two Washington recipients of New Markets Tax Credits, a federally sponsored investment vehicle designed to deliver capital to low-income communities. ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific was allocated $8 million with assistance from Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Representatives Brian Baird and Norm Dicks, who represent communities of Washington's economically challenged coastline.

"I am very pleased that ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific was successful in utilizing the New Markets Tax Credit program. Their investment will create many new jobs and revitalize several low-income communities in rural Southwest Washington," said Congressman Baird. "This is a great program that will have tremendous benefits for our state."

"The New Markets Tax Credit program is important for rural Washington's future and is relevant to a broad array of priorities as these two examples confirm," said Senator Murray. "I am proud to support the New Markets Tax Credit and ShoreBank's efforts in Washington State."

Ray Mooney, vice-president of Spokane, Wash.-based Sterling Savings Bank, said, "Sterling is pleased to be a participant in the New Markets Tax Credit Program throughout coastal Oregon and Washington because it is a credible reinvestment tool for the communities where we operate."

ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific expects to make at least one additional investment this spring in coastal Oregon.

Founded in 1995, ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific is a nonprofit community development organization designated by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution. Through offices in Ilwaco, Wash., and Astoria and Coos Bay, Ore., the organization serves the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest by providing capital investment, expertise and industry knowledge. Its focus is on building stronger rural communities by recognizing the interdependence of economic, environmental and community health. ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific is a nonprofit affiliate of ShoreBank Corporation, the nation's oldest community development financial institution serving rural and urban communities around the world.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 13, 2005
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